Chapter 2

"The Moon had slipped behind a cloud/Like a single wave on a Lonely Beach/I thought I was lost beyond your reachÖ"

John was still at work 20 minutes past his mental designation of time to leave. He wanted to go home, change and upgrade his attitude before seeing Evangeline. They had been having these nonstop heated and tense discussions bordering on fights lately. Ever since the impromptu talks about marriage and commitment. Now it seemed as though a fight simmered beneath the words of every conversation. Only in bed were they completely in synch, totally together with the only tension their want, hunger and thirst for each other.

Still, lately work called him in each time and he hated leaving her. She always understood it was just the way of the job. But he never wanted her to think he was there to quench his need of her then leave her.

When he looked at his watch again it was 8:20 p.m. "Damn it! Iím out and God help anyone who tries to detain me." John stuck his head in Boís office to say he was leaving "Fine." Bo said "And Iíll make it clear youíre not to get called in for anything. Youíve been pulling ridiculous hours. A night off, dare I say two? can only do you good. Goodnight and John donít think about work."

John debated swinging by his room first and decided to just head to Evangelineís. He took off his tie and undid a few shirt buttons then pointed his car to her house.

Van had just realized she had no idea about dinner. Was John expecting them to fix a meal at her place, go out or order in? Maybe he was bringing food? She started to call when she heard his car pull into her drive. She had the door open before he got too far up the walk. "Youíre early. Iím shocked." she said looking up at him as he entered her home. He kissed her on the top of her head then on her forehead. It registered on her how tired he looked and strengthened her resolve of no shop talk.

"Actually, Iím later than I planned. I couldnít break out of work before 8 so Iím still in work gear." John took in her gray jeans and sweater, "Youíre in my clothes. All casual."

"Well, since I see youíre empty-handed I can order in. You can shower or take a bath; and I actually have two of your sweaters and some sweats here. You too can dress down." Her eyes glinted and gleamed in the living room light, "Or you can shower or take a bath, light a fire in the bedroom and stay out of any and all clothes. Never let it be said I donít offer you options."

Recovering from his surprise John ran two fingers down her cheek, lingered on her throat, "We can eat in bed?" "We can eat in bed, but not food, no." Van laughed outright with glee at successfully shocking him. "First things first, I need to place an order otherwise itíll be pizza. You do whatever makes you happy." With that she headed to the kitchen for her stash of menus and the phone.

John moved towards the kitchen door, just enough to catch sight of her as he contemplated foregoing food and just having her. Theyíd done that before and the woman had nothing in her kitchen to eat beyond fruit and ice cream. Better to order in and reheat it later. He turned and went to the bathroom off her bedroom and decided on a bath.

John had sunk deeply into the relaxation offered by a hot bath. Heíd tossed a handful of colorful bath beads in on a whim and he surrendered to exhaustion. He didnít hear Van come into the bedroom, he was nodding off and didnít see her in the bathroom door. "Hey, donít drown sleeping in my tub." Concern was in her eyes and laced her voice as she woke him up. "Does the word vacation mean anything to you? Time off? Rest?"

"Plenty of rest when Iím dead." John said sleepily.

"Okay, thatís REALLY not funny. You have a dangerous job, I deal with the possibility of a call every day, every minute." Her voice shook and he sat up alarmed.

"Cop humor, sorry. I didnít know you worried about that, Evangeline."

"Iím not obsessive on it, just aware; and youíve been lucky. So far." Van pushed several damp tendrils back from his face, "Foodís here, get out of the tub and dry off. Are you dressing or havenít you decided yet?"

"No crumbs in the bed, Iím ok with that. Iíll light a fire, lets eat in front of the bed on the floor. Clothing optional, ladyís choice."

"A nude picnic? And weíd actually consume the food? You donít have that much self-control." Van laughed. "I do." "You donít."

He looked her up and down. Against his will he was made very aware of his physical reaction to her. Standing up to get out of the tub would prove her point. "Where are my sweats?" She smirked knowingly and went back into the bedroom.

Evangeline and John were intertwined on the couch. Both were slightly drowsy, breathing together, letting the music flow over and around them. Johnís body was wrapped around Vanís and heíd pulled her in as close and tight as she could stand. He sighed deeply to finally be able to hold her for as long as they wanted.

Evangeline turned her head to see if John was awake at the same time he placed his hand on her chin to bring her in for a kiss. The kiss deepened as he turned her body into his; the song seeped into his ears: "Wrapped me up and took me home/made my body strong/ rocked me all through the night/dried m tears and gave me sight/took this old piece of broken heart pumped it up and made it start." He pulled slightly out of their embrace and listened "Brought into my life such happiness/all mixed-up but you brought out the best/every bridge I met you helped me across/never once gave me up for lost/gave me something I could build on when all my dreams and all my hopes were gone/lost alone out in the cold so long/now I got a place that I can call homeÖBeen Found."

"What is this?" he asked, Van opened her eyes and gazed at him slightly confused. "The song. Who is this?" As always it took her a few moments to resurface from the waves of feelings he set off in her. Laying her head on his chest she listened for a bit, "Oh. Old cd Been Found Ashford and Simpson with Maya Angelou. Itís a favorite of mine, do you like it?"

Itís uh, uh perceptive." He coughed and looked at his watch. "John, take off your watch. Youíre not going anywhere tonight. You said Bo forbid anyone from interrupting our evening."

"He did and so did I. Iím just exhausted and really itís not that late. I shouldnít feel this tired." John stretched and wrapped her back in his arms.

"The hours you work? Your inability to shut down your mind and mentally offload your cases? Of course youíre exhausted. Come upstairs and Iíll give you a massage. Youíll sleep better afterwards." Evangeline pulled him to his feet and they headed upstairs.

"Turn on the speakers in your bedroom, I want to continue listening to the music."

"Okay."

 They reached the bedroom and John stripped down and laid across the bed on his back watching Van through half-closed eyes. Feeling his eyes gliding over her body Evangeline lets her clothes slowly fall away. She turns in a slow circle before him just out of his reach. Her laughter is sultry as she backs away from his seeking hands, goes to the drawer and slips into a bronze nightgown that whispers over her body as the hem hits the floor.

John looks at her perplexed. "John, youíre tired. Not that you arenít willing and able but really, Iíll be here in the morning. Let me give you a backrub then weíll sleep in each otherís arms, ok?"

"I thought you wanted to make love all night into the morning."

"Well, Iím agreeable to all morning into the night."

"But I want you."

"And youíll have me. Tomorrow."

"Itís past midnight, tomorrowís here."

"John. If youíre still this hungry after the backrub Iím more than happy to be dessert. Roll over."

A harsh laugh escapes him "easier said than done" John says trying to get comfortable on his stomach.

Looking at his muscled torso Evangeline takes several deep breaths thinking "I need to concern myself with my own will power. Iím giving him a backrub with my hands not my mouth and tongue." Placing warm oil in her hands she straddles his back and lets her hands slide and glide over his shoulders and down his back. She hears his muffled moan, feels him shift uneasily between her thighs. Pressing a little harder on his bunched-up muscles hears him moan in pleasure again and start to relax under her fingers.

Thirty minutes later Van leans against his back, reaches for his fingers and massages each one. "Evangeline," Johnís voice is even softer than usual "that was wonderful. You feelÖ.there are no words."

Van stretches her body out on top of Johnís, hears his breathing deepen and knows heís in a much needed restful sleep. Kissing his shoulders, turning her head she smiles against his back and relaxes into sleep.

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